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David Gilmore: Numerology: Live At Jazz Standard

Dan Bilawsky By

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Numbers and music are inextricably linked together. Numbers exist within every musical impulse and control the very nature of music through their connective ratios and relationships. This concept is explored to the fullest, without coming off as inaccessible "math music," on guitarist David Gilmore's Numerology: Live At Jazz Standard.

Gilmore—not to be confused with Pink Floyd's guitar-wielding David Gilmour—has made a name for himself as a Berklee-based educator and go-to sideman, appearing on recordings with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, clarinetist/saxophonist Don Byron, pianist Uri Caine and numerous others, but his own output has been meager. He only has two other dates under his own name— Ritualism (Kashka Music, 2001) and Unified Presence (Kindred Rhythm, 2006)—and, while both albums were well-received, they didn't get much attention; the third time may be the charm for Gilmore.

He put together a dream team band, bringing Unified Presence cast members like vocalist Claudia Acuna, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts back into the fold, and upping the ante with the addition of pianist Luis Perdomo, alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon and percussionist Mino Cinelu; the results are predictably powerful. Polyrhythmic pursuits, metric modulation, off-balance ideals, adrenaline-fueled solo flights and rhythmic crosscurrents are all part of the package. Acuna's haunting wordless vocals add volumes to the music, though they don't appear too often; Perdomo is the go-between, covering whatever is necessary; and McBride, Watts and Cinelu lay the groundwork and stir the pot. Gilmore and Zenón prove to be the stars, as they paint around one another and deliver some knockout solo work.

"The Numerology Suite," which was "initially made possible by Chamber Music America/Doris Duke—New Works: Creation And Presentation Program," was recorded live at New York's Jazz Standard, broken into two lengthy movements further subdivided into separate sections/sub-movements. While this information, and the circumstances surrounding the recording, may seem trivial, the fact that these long form pieces were recorded live on stage, where studio smoke-and-mirror techniques and extensive post-play editing isn't an option, makes this all the more impressive. The numbers seem to all add up to one hell of a recording!

Track Listing: First Movement: Zero To Three (Expansion); Four (Formation); Five (Change); Six (Balance); Second Movement: Seven (Rest); Eight (Manifestation); Nine (Dispersion).

Personnel: David Gilmore: guitar; Claudia Acuña: vocals; Miguel Zenón: alto saxophone; Luis Perdomo: piano; Christian McBride: bass; Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums; Mino Cinelu: percussion.

Title: Numerology: Live At Jazz Standard | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Evolutionary Music

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